This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
It may strike the reader that the house just described has a lavish appropriation of veranda, and a needless side-front, which latter may detract from the precise architectural keeping: that a dwelling of this pretension should maintain. In regard to the first, it may be remarked, that no feature of the house in a southern climate, can be more expressive of easy, comfortable enjoyment, than a spacious veranda. The habits of southern life demand it as a place of exercise in wet weather, and the cooler seasons of the year, as well as a place of recreation and social intercourse during the fervid heats of summer. Indeed, many southern people almost live under the shade of their verandas. It is a delightful place to take their meals, to receive theirvisitors and friends; and the veranda gives to a dwelling the very expression of hospitality, so far as any one feature of a dwelling can do it. No equal amount of accommodation can be provided for the same cost. It adds infinitely to the room of the house itself, and is, in fact, indispensable to the full enjoyment of a southern house.
The side front in this design is simply a matter of convenience to the owner and occupant of the estate, who has usually much office business in its management; and in the almost daily use of his library, where such business maybe done, a side door and front is both appropriate and convenient. The chief front entrance belongs to his family and guests, and should be devoted to their exclusive use; and as a light fence may be thrown off from the extreme end of the side porch, separating the front lawn from the rear approach to the house, the veranda on that side may be reached from its rear end, for business purposes, without intruding upon the lawn at all. So we would arrange it.
Objections may be made to the sameness of plan, in the arrangement of the lower rooms of the several designs which we have submitted, such as having the nursery or family sleeping room on the main floor of the house, and the uniformity, in location, of the others; and that there are no new and striking features in them. The answer to these may be, that the room appropriated for the nursery or bedroom, may be used for other purposes equally as well; that when a mode of accommodation is already convenient as may be, it is poorly worth while to make it less convenient, merely for the sake of variety; and that utility and convenience are the main objects to be attained in any well-ordered dwelling. These two requisites, utility and convenience, attained, the third and principal one - comfort - is secured. Cellar kitchens - the most abominable nuisances that ever crept into a country dwelling - might have been adopted, no doubt, to the especial delight of some who know nothing of the experimental duties of housekeeping; but the recommendation of these is an offence which we have no stomach to answer for hereafter.
Steep, winding, and complicated staircases might have given a new feature to one or another of the designs; dark closets, intricate passages, unique cubby-holes, and all sorts of inside gimcrackery might have amused our pencil; but we have avoided them, as well as everything which would stand in the way of the simplest, cheapest, and most direct mode of reaching the object in view: a convenient, comfortably-arranged dwelling within, having a respectable, dignified appearance without - and such, we trust, have been thus far presented in our designs.